The Drakes Huddersfield Cricket League is a marvel in cricket history and continuity.
Its first season was way back in 1892 and comprised the ten clubs of Armitage Bridge, Golcar, Holmfirth, Lascelles Hall, Linthwaite, Slaithwaite, Cliffe End, Huddersfield United, Lockwood, Meltham Mills.
The first six of those clubs are still around now and will compete in the 2018 season in the Huddersfield Cricket League that nowadays has six divisions – Premiership, Championship & Conference for both first and seconds teams.
From the outside, this West Yorkshire club cricket league can too easily be pigeon-holed as stubbornly traditional and slow to conform.
After all, it is one of only a few cricket leagues in Yorkshire not choosing to be part of the new pyramid that sees four ECB Premier Leagues at the top.
Yet, on closer inspection, the Huddersfield Cricket League is as modern and forward-facing as others and I’ve been particularly impressed with its website and online branding.
As it happens, they are due to have a new website this season and they have integrated with the ECB’s Play-Cricket platform for 2018.
To briefly crunch some numbers and stats: Ex-Yorkshire 2nd XI cricketers Gurman Randhawa (71 wickets for Hoylandswaine) and Mosun Hussain (1,508 runs for Delph and Dobcross) were the lead performers last season (across HCL Premiership and league cup combined).
In 2017, Hoylandswaine won the Premiership title and Scholes ended a 21-year wait to lift the Sykes Cup.
Swaine have signed the likes of Scott Jones, Andy and David Judge although their highest-profile addition is ex-Durham allrounder Usman Arshad from Sunderland.
Challengers Delph and Dobcross will be captained once more by Andy Gleave with Mosun Hussain hoping to back up that stellar last year with the bat and offspinning allrounder Arron Lilley in form for Lancashire with 83 not out in early April.
As ever with county cricketers, their availability will be hit and miss with Delph’s Luke Proctor moving to Northants over winter from Lancashire and starting well against Middlesex at Lord’s.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Shreevats Goswami is not back for another year with Delph but is instead currently learning from Kane Williamson at IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad. Ex-Lancashire Seconds allrounder Chris Tipper joins from Glossop.
It will be interesting to see how their new overseas signing goes, signed from Baildon in the Bradford League. Waqas Masood is a Pakistani cricketer with 217 first-class wickets who bowls left-arm pace. Meanwhile, Delph have snapped up another Bradford League bowler in East Bierley’s Umer Yaqoob.
Another club aiming to challenge for the league title will be Shepley who have Greg Wood back at the club after a few seasons at Wrenthorpe. Wood will be captaining Shepley in 2018 with former skipper Danny Glover moving to vice-captain.
Opening batsman John Anderson joins from the successful Sydney grade cricket team of Northern Districts.
A few other league transfers that caught the eye included Charlie Roebuck, returning to Broad Oak from Treeton, Eddie Walmsley going to Moorlands from Methley and Scholes signing Yaasar Imtiaz from Yorkshire Academy.
HUDDERSFIELD CRICKET LEAGUE ON CRICKET YORKSHIRE PODCAST
For the Cricket Yorkshire Podcast, I caught up with Media & Press Secretary Jamie Harrison to chat through changes for 2018, why the league is happy to go it alone and the battle for umpire recruitment.
Have a listen and all the best to players across all divisions of the Drakes Huddersfield Cricket League which has been delayed due to wet outfields with the postponement of all League and Preliminary Round Cup fixtures scheduled for Saturday 21st April and Sunday 22nd April.
FULL TRANSFER LIST:
As of Friday 20 April, the confirmed Huddersfield Cricket League transfers were as below. To explore the Huddersfield Cricket League in more depth, visit the league website here: http://www.huddersfieldcricketleague.co.uk.
|Birkby Rose Hill CC||Abdul Rehman||Edgerton & Dalton CC|
|Birkby Rose Hill CC||Hassan Rehman||Edgerton & Dalton CC|
|Birkby Rose Hill CC||Muhammad Saeed||Yeadon CC|
|Birkby Rose Hill CC||Amir Afzal||Edgerton & Dalton CC|
|Birkby Rose Hill CC||Asif Yousaf||Green Lane CC|
|Broad Oak CC||Charlie Roebuck||Treeton CC|
|Cawthorne CC, Yorks||Iqbal Khan||Blackpool CC|
|Cawthorne CC, Yorks||Jacob Deavin-Baker||Radcliffe-on-Trent CC|
|Cawthorne CC, Yorks||Faisal Hussain||Rawtenstall CC|
|Cawthorne CC, Yorks||Declan French||Stainborough CC|
|Cawthorne CC, Yorks||Alec Grange||Thorncliffe CC|
|Cawthorne CC, Yorks||Muhammad Hussain||Thorncliffe CC|
|Cawthorne CC, Yorks||Thomas Simcox||Thorncliffe CC|
|Cawthorne CC, Yorks||Kade Fletcher||Wath CC|
|Delph and Dobcross CC||Umer Yaqoob||East Bierley CC|
|Denby CC, Yorks||Owen Smalley||Castleford CC|
|Denby Dale CC||Tom Osborne||Wakefield Thornes CC|
|Edgerton & Dalton CC||Faisal Rasool||Nortonthorpe CC|
|Elland CC||Paul Winrow||Royton CC|
|Hall Bower CC||Mark Andrew Allison||Brighouse CC|
|Holmfirth CC||Tony Wilkinson||Hensall CC|
|Holmfirth CC||Corey Hope||Lowerhouse CC|
|Holmfirth CC||Amar Rashid||East Bierley CC|
|Honley CC||Richard Porter||Brooke CC, Norfolk|
|Honley CC||Edd Croft||Killamarsh Juniors CC|
|Hoylandswaine CC||Javed Iqbal||Preston CC, Lancashire|
|Hoylandswaine CC||Luke Potter||Stainborough CC|
|Hoylandswaine CC||Andy Judge||Sheffield & Phoenix United CC|
|Hoylandswaine CC||Usman Arshad||Sunderland CC|
|Hoylandswaine CC||Scott Jones||Brookhouse CC|
|Hoylandswaine CC||David Judge||Sheffield & Phoenix United CC|
|Kirkburton CC||Andy Carrington||Louth CC|
|Kirkheaton CC||Will Smith||Carlton CC, Wakefield|
|Lascelles Hall CC||Jack Newton||Broad Oak CC|
|Linthwaite CC||Tahseen Suleman||Idle CC|
|Mirfield Parish Cavaliers CC||Bradley Drake||Hopton Mills CC|
|Moorlands CC, Yorkshire||Eddie Walmsley||Methley CC|
|Scholes CC, Huddersfield||Gurdeep Farma||Ilford CC|
|Scholes CC, Huddersfield||Yaasar Imtiaz||Yorkshire Academy CC|
|Scholes CC, Huddersfield||Joshua Ankers||Thurstonland CC|
|Scholes CC, Huddersfield||Mikki Battye-Wood||Holmfirth CC|
|Shepley CC||William Ward||Stainborough CC|
|Shepley CC||Greg Wood||Wrenthorpe CC|
|Skelmanthorpe CC||Michael Kitson||Horsforth CC|
|Skelmanthorpe CC||Rauf Qayyum||Hartshead Moor CC|
|Slaithwaite CC||Hasnat Yousaf||TOA CC|
|Upperthong CC||Joseph Ramsden||Sheffield & Phoenix United CC|
|Upperthong CC||Stephen Ramsay||Swanage CC|